Reader Question: Non-Mechanical Recommendations?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Nick asks: I love reading your articles – and am not very good at mechanics! Just wondering what vehicles are still good out there if I were going to buy an SUV (e.g., GMC or Nissan or VW ) which vehicle would you recommend and if I were looking for an electric car? Any advice would be much appreciated. Have a great day, sir!

My reply: Well, let’s start out with the easy ones. I recommend no electric SUV because (a) there isn’t one to recommend. There are a few crossover SUVs, including the new Audi eTron, but I wouldn’t recommend it, either – because it costs about $20k more than an otherwise similar non-electric crossover SUV and as such makes as much economic sense as using crumpled up $100 bills to insulate the walls of your house. There are also the functional gimps (short range; range affected by use of accessories and temperature, etc.) and the hassles (having to wait at least 5-6 times as long to recharge as it takes to refuel).

In a sentence: There is no rational reason to buy an EV. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy one if you just want one; if it is something you think is “neat.” I think my Kawasaki two-stroke bike is neat – but I recognize it’s a toy and makes no practical (and forget economic) sense.

On the rest: If you’re looking for a crossover SUV (i.e., a car-based wagon that sort of looks like a truck-based SUV but does not have truck-type underpinnings and a 4WD system with Low range gearing) it’s hard to go wrong with models like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester. The Nissan Rogue is popular, too – and I personally like the VW Tiguan a lot because it’s peppy and fun to drive (most crossovers aren’t).

These are just a few of the possible options – and the ones I mentioned are all medium-compact-sized; you might want something larger or possibly smaller.

If you’ll reply to this with some specifics wants/needs,I’ll give you some more specific recommendations!

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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